Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter


"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Secretary-General
23 September 1993
Supporting the Transition

An immediate response of the United Nations
to the interim period in the West Bank and Gaza Strip






Summary

Since the signing of the Declaration of Principles by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on 13 September 1993, all parties have emphasized that during the first year of the interim period it will be vital that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have a sense of new opportunity. Supporting the peace process will require a rapid improvement in the health and education services provided to Palestinians as well as a major initiative to create employment and raise the average level of family income. This will be of particular importance in the Gaza Strip where living conditions are especially poor. All of these efforts should be an integral part of the parallel aim of upgrading economic, physical, and social services infrastructure.

In 1993, the United Nations is providing services and implementing special projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip amounting to nearly US$ 250 million, accounting for well over one third of total public expenditure. During the first year of the interim period, it is proposed that the United Nations increase its activities by about 55 per cent, or US$ 138,250,000.

Proposed activities would help maintain and improve services in those areas over which Palestinians will soon assume responsibility. Most of the activities suggested amplify ongoing programmes and are based on specific priority needs. Other activities address the need for improved infrastructure and provision of technical assistance which will be necessary in carrying out future development plans.

There are three United Nations organizations with an active operational presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, namely UNDP, UNICEF, UNRWA, employing 72 international staff and 8,050 area staff. Other members of the United Nations system have collaborative arrangements with these three organizations. Such collaboration could be increased and additional United Nations organizations should participate in a system-wide programme in support of the interim period. Specific efforts should be made to expand cooperation with NGOs in meeting common goals.

In order to augment the capacity of United Nations organizations to cooperate with the international community as well as to facilitate a substantially expanded United Nations presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, inter-agency coordination must be strengthened. A coordinator appointed by the Secretary-General will allow the United Nations to maintain its momentum, mobilize resources, cooperate with the international community and increase inter-agency collaboration.


Introduction

Since the signing of the Declaration of Principles by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on 13 September 1993, all parties have emphasized that during the first year of the interim period it will be vital that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have a sense of new opportunity. An essential factor in this will be whether Palestinians see a demonstrable and rapid improvement in the quality of their lives, particularly among more disadvantaged social groups such as youth for poor backgrounds and women. Achieving this will be a formidable task. Funds must be rapidly mobilized and disbursed in a productive manner within a very short time frame.

At present, the United Nations has the capacity to launch immediately activities which will help create and sustain improved conditions, by employing jobless Palestinians to improve essential services and infrastructure. Through United Nations agencies, the international community can achieve the short term goal of raising living standards as well as help to ensure a smooth transition to subsequent phases at which time programmes run by organizations such as the World Bank, other organizations of the United Nations system and bilateral aid agencies will have become operational. In addition, the United Nations could help mobilize and support the coordination of the large international effort from non-United Nations sources.

The response described below raises issues and proposed initiatives to assist Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first year of the interim period, has been prepared for the purpose of internal debate within the United Nations in preparation for detailed discussions with concerned parties. The ultimate elements of a United Nations initiative will be determined in light of these discussions.


United Nations assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

The United Nations has been assisting Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for nearly 45 years. In 1993, the United Nations is providing services and implementing special projects amounting to nearly US$ 250 million. These outlays account for about one third of all public expenditure in the West Bank and about one half in the Gaza Strip. With over 8,000 Palestinian employees, the United Nations is the second largest single employer, after the Civil Administration.

The United Nations runs primary and preparatory schools for nearly 150,000 children, vocational training centers for almost 2,000 students, and health centres which will receive over 2 million patient visits in 1993. Over 140,000 families in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip have received emergency food rations from the United Nations in the past six months and 32,000 families receive regular welfare assistance.

The United Nations is helping to plan and construct large parts of the essential infrastructure which will form the basis of any future social and economic development plans. The United Nations has recently begun construction on a US$ 35 million general hospital for the Gaza Strip and is continuing with projects that are planning and building environmental health infrastructure such as sewage systems and water networks for health drinking water for refugee camps, villages and towns. United Nations programmes are helping to improve agricultural productivity, support technical and managerial advisory services for industry and commerce, and assist in the formulation of sectoral development policies.

The United Nations contributes to Palestinian cultural life and social services for youth, persons with disabilities and women through UN-sponsored youth activities centres, community rehabilitation centres, and women's programme centres. For many years, the United Nations has provided technical support and assistance to Palestinian NGOs working in health, education, agriculture, industry, commerce, training, and women's issues.


Programmatic response to the first year of interim period

During the first year of the interim period, the United Nations should concentrate its resources in support of two overall goals. The means used to achieve these goals should emphasize the direct and indirect creation of 15,000 or more job opportunities through direct employment in United Nations activities and stimulating local economic activity through local procurement and increased consumer demand.

First, the capacity of the incoming Palestinian authority to assume responsibility for services in education, health, social services, income generation, hospital care, etc, should be supported. Maintaining and improving public services will inevitably represent a priority demand placed on the incoming Palestinian authority. It can be expected that the tax revenues which cover the cost of the Civil Administration sector will shrink in the initial years of the interim period as the Palestinian authority reforms taxation policy and establishes its own tax collection mechanisms. Services provided by United Nations agencies should also be protected, particularly as the Palestinian authority is expected to assume responsibility for UNRWA services in the future.

Second, basic physical and social services infrastructure should be improved. United Nations assistance should address the needs of the health and education sectors, through upgrading existing facilities and constructing new ones where needed. Basic infrastructure such as sewage and water treatment facilities, roads, electricity supply, and communications systems will have to be greatly expanded as a precondition for future development plans.


Activities to support the transition period

The United Nations could initiate a wide range of sectoral activities, a number of which could begin within 90 days, which would directly contribute to the development of essential physical and human resources. Other activities, more in the nature of technical assistance and research, would help to provide an information base and policy options in areas of pressing need for the Palestinian administration.

The total cost of proposed activities amounts to US$ 138,250,000, an increase of about 55 per cent over the present level of operations. An overview of proposed activities is given in Table 1, below. (See Annex 1 for a more detailed breakdown of these activities.) Most of these activities amplify ongoing programmes and are based on specific priority needs. Other activities address needs for improving infrastructure and providing technical assistance which will be necessary in carrying out future development plans.

Proposed activities are based on an assessment of what could be done within existing capacities of United Nations organizations if additional resources were forthcoming. Activities have been proposed in light of the framework of the Declaration of Principles, human resources and infrastructural constraints obtaining in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and priorities previously identified by Palestinians. Proposed activities cover both the Gaza Strip, where needs are greatest, and the West Bank.

Table 1

UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES FOR THE
WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH

SECTOR
1993 BUDGET
FOR ONGOING ACTIVITY
PROPOSED BUDGET
FOR ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES
ECONOMIC AND PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
US$ 49,600,000
US$ 56,440,000
EDUCATION
71,900,000
40,850,000
HEALTH
57,400,000
6,200,000
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING
12,400,000
6,150,000
SOCIAL SERVICES
38,400,000
10,010,000
AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY
3,200,000
15,400,000
EMERGENCY ACTIVITIES
17,000,000
GRAND TOTAL
US$ 249,900,000These ongoing activities represent recurrent costs which will require continued funding in 1994, independent of the funds for proposed additional activities.
US$ 138,250,000


Financing required to undertake proposed activities is in addition to the level of funding necessary to maintain the present level of services provided by the United Nations. United Nations agencies present in the West Bank and Gaza Strip do not have significant additional resources currently available to undertake more than a small portion of these activities. (UNDP could immediately dedicate an additional US$ 3 million to US$ 5 million from existing funds to expand its programme.)

If, as seems likely, the Palestinian authority establishes a presence in the Jericho area and an unknown number of Palestinian displaced in the 1967 war resettle there, the United Nations may be called upon to provide additional assistance to that area as basic infrastructure such as roads, communications, sewage, water and housing is lacking. Due to the uncertainties of future political developments related to Jericho, planning for a significant expansion in United Nations activities there may have to await further clarification at the political level.


United Nations organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

There are three United Nations organizations with an active operational presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA. Each are present in East Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, UNDP and UNRWA are also present. Table 2, below, summarizes staffing and budgets of the current, on-going activities of these organizations. (Annexes 2 - 4 provide details on programme activities.)

Table 2

UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP

AGENCY
INT'L STAFF
AREA STAFF
1993 BUDGET FOR ONGOING ACTIVITIES
UNDP
5
55
$28.3 million
UNICEFUNICEF's area office in Amman supervises its programmes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and is backstopped by the regional office, also in Amman.
6
5
1.6 million
UNRWAUNRWA budget figures include ongoing programmes plus special projects under implementation. The 1993 budget for the Gaza Strip is
US$ 75 million plus US$ 55 million in projects. The 1993 budget for the West Bank is US$ 60 million plus US$ 20 million in projects.

Gaza Strip

West Bank
29

32
4,870

3,120
130 million

80 million
TOTALS
72
8,050
$249,900,000


UNDP activities concentrate on provision and improvement of basic infrastructure, enhancing Palestinian capacity in the areas of governance and public administration, strengthening the economic base of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, particularly in agriculture, industry, and trade, and information exchange among donor governments and international organizations.

UNICEF programmes focus on strengthening community-level structures, particularly on disadvantaged groups in areas such as primary health care, basic education, physiotherapy, and psychological trauma.

UNRWA programmes are mainly in the areas of primary and preparatory education, vocational and teacher training, primary health care, relief and social services, environmental infrastructural development, and income generation.


Coordination among United Nations agencies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

At present, UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA play complementary roles in the provision of services, human resources and infrastructural development, and technical assistance. Where there are similar sectoral activities, such as in the environmental health sector, specialization by region or activity has meant that duplication has been avoided. In addition to their separate programmes, the three agencies have ongoing joint programmes. The three agencies have recently developed a joint proposal in the context of the multilateral talks for enhancing youth programmes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Regular consultation between the three agencies takes place at the field level.

Other United Nations organizations, principally UNESCO and WHO, carry out significant programmes in collaboration with agencies present in the occupied territory. In addition, organizations, such as UNCHS (Habitat), UNCTAD, UNEP, ILO, and WFP, among others, have sent missions or provided assistance under similar arrangements. Existing collaborative arrangements could easily be developed to provide further assistance to Palestinians in the coming months.

The challenge facing the United Nations and the international community requires that collaboration among United Nations agencies be significantly strengthened. This is necessary in order to enhance the agencies' capacity to cooperate with the international community as well as to facilitate a substantially expanded United Nations presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A prominent role for a coordinator appointed by the Secretary-General could be highly beneficial in mobilizing resources, cooperating with the international community and strengthening inter-agency collaboration.


The United Nations and NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

In addition to United Nations agencies, NGOs in the West Bank and gaza Strip have capacity to help improve living conditions. International NGOs have long-standing experience in providing development assistance to Palestinians and have played an important role in supporting the growth of Palestinian institutions. Particular consideration should be given to supporting Palestinian NGOs with ongoing programmes in income generation, health services, agricultural and enterprise development, and education, training and research. UNDP, UNRWA and UNICEF have extensive contacts and cooperation with both international and Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

23 September 1993



Annex 1

PROPOSED UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES
FOR THE WEST BANK AND GAZA STRIP




SECTOR LOCATION US$



Economic and Physical Infrastructure

Comprehensive Maintenance and Upgrading Gaza Strip 4,440,000
West Bank 4,500,000

Drinking Water Distribution Gaza 1,000,000
West Bank 5,800,000

Environmental Sanitation Gaza 14,850,000
West Bank 10,600,000

Income Generation/Loans Gaza 6,000,000
West Bank 6,000,000

Transport and Communications Gaza 1,750,000
West Bank 1,750,000


Education

Curriculum Development Both 1,000,000

School Construction Gaza Strip 16,800,000
West Bank 16,800,000

School Maintenance Gaza 2,000,000

Technical/Material Assistance Both 4,250,000


Health

Health Centre Upgrading Gaza 1,000,000
West Bank 1,000,000

PHC Infrastructural Development Both 3,500,000

Technical Assistance Both 700,000





Public Management and Training

Public Management, Advisory Services Both 4,150,000

Technical Cooperation Both 3,200,000

Training Gaza 1,000,000
West Bank 1,000,000


Social Services

Camp/Shelter Rehabilitation Gaza 3,000,000
West Bank 4,000,000

Child Development, Youth Both 2,250,000

Womens Programme Centres Gaza 260,000
West Bank 300,000

Youth Activities Centres Gaza 100,000
West Bank 100,000


Agriculture and Industry

Agriculture Both 14,200,000

Industry Gaza 1,000,000
West Bank 200,000




TOTAL ESTIMATED COST OF PROPOSED INITIATIVES:

Gaza Strip 53,200,000

West Bank 52,050,000

Both 33,250,000

GRAND TOTAL US$ 138,500,000




Annex 2

UNDP
1993 ONGOING ACTIVITIES



1993 BUDGET IMPLEMENTING
DESCRIPTION OF ASSISTANCE LOCATION (US$) AGENCY


Economic + Physical Infrastructure

Rural Water Resources West Bank 2,500,000 UNDP

Urban Water Supply Gaza, West Bank 4,990,000 UNDP

Sewage and Sanitation Gaza, West Bank 4,150,000 UNDP

Agricultural Irrigation Gaza 420,000 UNDP

Poultry, Citrus + Vegetable Packing and Processing Gaza, West Bank 2,070,000 UNDP


Education + Culture

School Construction Gaza, West Bank 2,500,000 UNDP


Employment + Income Generation

Assistance to Fishermen Gaza 205,000 UNDP

Business Development Center West Bank 500,000 UNDP


Health

Medical Equipment West Bank 200,000 UNDP

Hospitals Construction West Bank 8,000,000 UNDP


Public Management and Training

Vocational Training Gaza, West Bank 500,000 UNDP

Integration of Rural Development West Bank 450,000 UNDP

Equipment for municipalities 600,000 UNDP

Project formulation 600,000 UNDP


Social Services

Economic + Social Data Collection Gaza, West Bank 150,000 UNDP

Support to Women in Development Gaza, West Bank 500,000 UNDP



Annex 3

UNICEF
1993 Ongoing Activities






1993 BUDGET IMPLEMENTING
DESCRIPTION OF ASSISTANCE LOCATION (US$) AGENCY



Economic + Physical Infrastructure



Education + Culture 500,000

Teaching/Learning Materials Gaza, West Bank UNICEF

Achievement Assessment Gaza, West Bank UNICEF



Employment + Income Generation



Health 750,000

Technical Assistance and Surveys Gaza, West Bank UNICEF

Health Education Gaza, West Bank UNICEF

Immunization, Control of Diarrhoeal Diseases, Promotion of
Breast-Feeding, Maternal and Child Health Services Gaza, West Bank UNICEF

Physical and Psychological Rehabilitation Gaza, West Bank UNICEF



Social Services

Youth Clubs/Camps Gaza, West Bank UNICEF



Other Miscellaneous Gaza, West Bank 400,000 UNICEF



Annex 4

UNRWA
1993 Ongoing Activities




1993 BUDGET IMPLEMENTING
DESCRIPTION OF ASSISTANCE LOCATION (US$) AGENCY


Economic + Physical Infrastructure

Environmental sanitation - services Gaza 2,553,000 UNRWA
West Bank 1,642,000 UNRWA

Environmental sanitation - planning and construction Gaza 9,683,000 UNRWA
West Bank 4,567,000 UNRWA

Additional warehousing - construction Gaza 200,000 UNRWA

Field office, 6 camp offices Gaza UNRWA

Field office, 5 area and 19 camp offices West Bank UNRWA

385 vehicles Gaza and West Bank

500 common and operational staff Gaza UNRWA

475 common and operational staff West Bank UNRWA

Operational/Common Services - running costs Gaza 6,886,000 UNRWA
West Bank 9,089,000 UNRWA



Education + Culture

153 Primary + Preparatory Schools Gaza 30,712,000 UNRWA

100 Primary + Preparatory Schools West Bank 14,908,000 UNRWA

Construction additional classrooms Gaza 2,772,000 UNRWA
West Bank 1,006,000 UNRWA

Construction school sanitation facilities Gaza 848,000 UNRWA
West Bank 712,000 UNRWA

New school construction Gaza 3,573,000 UNRWA
West Bank 4,408,000 UNRWA

3,300 programme staff members Gaza UNRWA

1,900 programme staff members West Bank UNRWA

Other activities Gaza 897,000 UNRWA
West Bank 584,000 UNRWA

Other special projects Gaza 3,710,000 UNRWA
West Bank 4,767,000 UNRWA
Employment + Income Generation

Loans to Palestinian enterprises Gaza 2,213,000 UNRWA
West Bank 1,161,000 UNRWA



Health

32 Health, Dental Centers + Labs Gaza 5,918,00 UNRWA

Improvements to health centers Gaza 50,000 UNRWA

66 Health, Dental Centers + labs West Bank UNRWA

Improvements to health centers West Bank 358,000 UNRWA

232 Bed General Hospital (under construction) Gaza 35,000,000 UNRWA

Upgrading of UNRWA's Qalqilya Hospital West Bank 510,000 UNRWA

860 programme staff Gaza UNRWA

640 programme staff West Bank UNRWA

Nutritional Feeding Gaza 414,000 UNRWA
West Bank 248,000 UNRWA

Other Special Projects Gaza 3,808,000 UNRWA
West Bank 2,149,000 UNRWA



Public Management + Training

Vocational Training Center (VTC) Gaza 1,829,000 UNRWA

Expansion VTC programme Gaza 943,000 UNRWA

3 Vocational + Teacher Training Centers West Bank 4,048,000 UNRWA

Expansion of VTCs programmes West Bank 3,346,000 UNRWA

Training Centre for the Blind Gaza 100,000 UNRWA



Social Services

Refugee camp/shelter rehabilitation Gaza 3,065,000 UNRWA
West Bank 2,463,000 UNRWA

14 Women's programme centers (WPC) Gaza UNRWA

11 Women's programme centers West Bank UNRWA

Construction/equipment of WPCs Gaza and West Bank 1,200,000 UNRWA

9 Youth Activities Centers Gaza UNRWA

17 Youth Activities Centers West Bank UNRWA
4 Community rehabilitation centres Gaza UNRWA

6 Community rehabilitation centres West Bank UNRWA

All social service costs Gaza 418,000 UNRWA
West Bank 329,000 UNRWA

Welfare Assistance to 18,000 Families Gaza UNRWA

Welfare Assistance to 14,000 Families West Bank UNRWA

Emergency Food Distribution 100,000 Families Gaza UNRWA

Emergency Food Distribution 50,000 Families West Bank UNRWA

250 programme staff Gaza UNRWA

150 programme staff West Bank UNRWA

Relief Regular programme running costs Gaza 8,069,000 UNRWA

Relief Regular programme services costs West Bank 4,760,000 UNRWA

Other special projects Gaza 437,000 UNRWA
West Bank 155,000 UNRWA





EMERGENCY ACTIVITIES GAZA 8,988,000 UNRWA
WEST BANK 7,874,000 UNRWA

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter